The two major terrorism-related events last week have put India and Pakistan under the scanner. The prime suspects in the failed terror attacks in the UK hail from India, and highly educated, well-to-do Muslims from India perhaps for the first time are alleged to be the brain behind dastardly acts.
Though General Musharraf is seen taking advantage of the stand-off between the Muslim clergy and his army in Pakistan, India does not have any such tactical advantage. The millions of PIOs abroad will have to bear the brunt of not just the involvement of Indian-born terrorists in attacks worldwide but also the irresponsible statements emanating from the country'spremier.
India'sMuslims till now were segregated from the global terror network, though ground realities revealed a stark picture of their growing involvement. The question usually asked was that if Indians are not found part of global terror networks, how come India is the oldest and probably the worst victim of jehadi terrorism?
But now the fig leaf has been taken off. It was quite popular amongst political circles to talk of Thomas L. Friedman'sbook The World Is Flat which claimed that not a single Indian Muslim has been found to be involved in al-Qaeda, which is not saying much because Dawood Ibrahim has been declared a global terrorist by the US and the Interpol is on a look-out for him.
And in such circumstances where Indians as a community can be maligned abroad for breeding terrorism it does not help if the Prime Minister poignantly says that he lost his sleep after watching the mother of the prime accused in the UK terror plot crying on TV. It is the same Prime Minister who once said that he does not lose sleep when millions lose their life'ssavings when the stock market tanks.
What is worrisome is that just as Pakistan has been considered a necessary evil in the war against terror India will soon join the same club. Our demography, our history and our current political expediency will only reinforce that worldview unless we make amends.